Nesting boxes...Inside or Outside???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by JohnBob, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. JohnBob

    JohnBob Out Of The Brooder

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    Still in the design stage for a new coop. Have looked at a couple hundred pics and read about 10 books on coop building. I haven't seen this issue addressed or I missed it. Using outside the coop nesting boxes, those built onto the coop, how cold can your area temps get to before you have to insulate the boxes to keep the eggs from freezing over night? I'm in southwest TN and night time temps usually drop below freezing starting in Nov. and stay in that range til March. Daytime temps can and do drop below freezing off and on from Dec. to Feb. I plan on using a couple of heat lamps (controlled by a T-stat) in the coop and I'm insulating the coop itself. The coop is going to be a 8' x 8' and raised off the ground about 2'. I'm insulating the floor as well. Do I need to go ahead and insulate the nesting boxes if I mount them outside or should I just build them inside? Has anyone had any problems with frozen eggs using outside boxes? I appreciate any info I can get. [​IMG]
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Don't worry about the freezing thing, as long as you'll be out to collect eggs in the p.m. (edited to add: actually, in SW TN probably not even an issue if you don't collect them til the morning) Remember eggs start out at approximately 100 F (i.e, the temperature of the inside of a hen), are sitting in/on insulative nestbox filler, and don't freeze til about 27 F.

    However it would make NO SENSE AT ALL for you to do exterior nestboxes so that's all probably irrelevant [​IMG]

    Exterior nestboxes only make sense when you have a teensy tiny and very short coop, such that the boxes have to be taking away floorspace from the chickens. In an 8x8 coop there is zero reason not to just mount them on the wall at least 16" above the floor, then the chickens can walk around under them and so what is the POINT of putting them outside.

    If you want to collect eggs without entering the coop what you want is an exterior ACCESS HATCH to interior boxes. Seriously. Exterior boxes are a big pain in the butt, they are MUCh more work to build, hard to weatherproof, and will always be a weak point for predators and rain to get in. Do not do them unless you have no choice.

    Exterior access hatches for *interior* boxes, seriously seriously [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  3. darbywpd

    darbywpd Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 22, 2011
    Pat, If the interior boxes are 18" off the ground, do I need a ramp up to them?
     
  4. JohnBob

    JohnBob Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 6, 2011
    Tipton County TN
    Pat...thanks for the info and the idea. I had already thought of the water leakage issue and had a couple of ideas for that but it makes it a whole lot less complicated to use inside boxes with an outside access. Thanks so much for the help.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I have exterior boxes on my bantam coop & love them. They were not hard to build & I have had no issues with water. If you don't do exterior boxes, definitely do outside access.
     
  6. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    I have had exterior boxes for over a year and have never had a water / rain issue. I love having outside access and not going in coop to gather eggs.

    Our first coop had a fold down door. They are double locked and no more a weak spot for entry for a predator than any other spot on the coop.


    YOU DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE EGGS OVERNIGHT - -- this will attrack predators.
    The chickens do not lay eggs at night. . . . They sleep and poop.

    With exterior boxes- - - you don't have to worry about the chickens pooping on the roof of the nesting box.

    They are a little hard to build, but in my opinion - - -- they are so worth it!
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    With all due respect to people who may currently be enjoying their exterior nestboxes, I would point out that performance during the first year is not necessarily a good indicator of how trouble free they'll be over time.

    And they truly offer nothing WHATSOEVER that exterior-access-hatch-to-interior-box doesn't offer, except for not taking up coop interior space which ONLY matters if you're forced by coop size to have floor-height boxes.

    Just sayin',

    Pat
     
  8. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Perhaps, this is one of those choices that are effected by where people live and the types of weather they experience. . .. .

    To go back to the original poster's questions. . . . .

    My boxes are exterior and I saw lows in the teens over the past year and had no problem. I don't have to worry about snow and my exterior nest boxes have a tin roof just like my coop does. I do have to worry more about HEAT, EXTREME heat, in my area.

    I like to keep egg collecting as simple as possible so that when I take mini vacations, I can get neighbors to collect eggs for me with out dealing with poo poos [​IMG]
     
  9. truebluexf

    truebluexf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ummmm love this! It hadn't even occurred to me to raise the roof 6 inches so our nests could be inside the main walls, just up off the floor enough to keep the floor space the same! Woohoo! Thanks for this! As mentioned above, do they need an extra step or anything to get up there?
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Not if it's low enough for them to hop up. Pretty much anything short of CornishX can manage 18", many breeds can manage higher without needing a ladder or landing-pad, but it depends on your chickens.

    Pat
     

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